New business arrives at Picayune Airport

Published 1:22 am Sunday, September 24, 2006

Picayune’s little airport is steadily growing as new businesses build hangars and bring more aircraft to the area, signifying the growth of a larger more productive city.

El Paso Corporation, the new business at the Picayune airport, has the largest international natural gas pipeline in the United States, said Public Relations Director Lisa Marshall. The corporation also is one of the top 20 production companies and produce most of the oil and gas from the Gulf Coast, Marshall said.

“We bring more gas to shore than any other pipeline system,” Marshall said.

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Marshall said that one third of all natural gas consumed in the United States is touched by El Paso.

The new hangar at the airport will house three helicopters, three pilots and two mechanics. While those positions are already filled, there is an opening for a part time technician helper that could possibly become full time, said Director of Aviation Ceci Bodey. The position would entail washing aircraft and taking care of the facility, Bodey said.

The move to Picayune was a direct reaction to the irreparable damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina to their facility in Toca, La., Bodey said. In fact, the move was completed a year to the day after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region, he said. Even with their new location in Picayune, the company still plans to protect their investment if another hurricane comes this way.

“We always move our aircraft assets out of harm’s way,” Bodey said.